Page 3065 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 23 August 2005

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Stock (Levy) Determination 2005 (No 1)—Disallowable Instrument DI2005-177 (LR, 11 August 2005).

Stock (Levy) Determination 2005 (No 2)—Disallowable Instrument DI2005-178 (LR, 11 August 2005).

Water and Sewerage Act—Water and Sewerage Amendment Regulation 2005 (No 1)—Subordinate Law SL2005-16 (LR, 29 July 2005).

Water Resources Act—Water Resources (Fees) Determination 2005 (No 2)—Disallowable Instrument DI2005-184 (LR, 15 August 2005).

Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders

Discussion of matter of public importance

MR SPEAKER: I have received letters from Mrs Burke, Ms Porter and Mr Pratt proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, I have determined that the matter proposed by Mrs Burke be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs in the ACT.

MRS BURKE (Molonglo) (4.05): There is no doubt that the levels of support and care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the ACT have come a long way, but we should not get complacent as we still have much to achieve, in terms of elevating and promoting the wonderful culture of Aboriginal people in our region. There should be a sense of accomplishment and pride at our local level of government that, over a number of years, we can confidently say that there have been real improvements made in the areas of service delivery and provision of facilities that enhance the Aboriginal indigenous community, its culture and values.

I would like to commend the work currently being done in particular by Winnunga Nimmityjah who have worked most positively with the federal government and the ACT government for positive outcomes in terms of the delivery of health services to the Aboriginal community in the ACT. It is imperative for any government of the day, at the ACT level, to continue to focus on local indigenous affairs. That is why we, as members of this Assembly, are here. That is why we were elected, to monitor and respond to the concerns of our local communities and, as is the topic of this MPI today, our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community here in the ACT.

As an example, during last week’s sitting, Dr Foskey put forward a motion to highlight:

The need for new and expanded services in the ACT to address Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander illegal and problematic drug use.

This is indeed an amiable approach to maintaining some form of vigilance over what programs and funding are allocated to address some of the more evident health, social and community services for indigenous people in the ACT. Of major concern to the opposition recently has been the uncertainty of what progress has been made in showcasing indigenous art, culture and heritage at the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Centre at Yarramundi Reach. This is a matter of concern to the wider ACT community. Both the issues I have just mentioned directly affect the health and

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